Historical Overview of Massage – 2 hours
The history of the ethical and professional application of structured therapeutic touch is studied from ancient Greek and Roman times to the 21st Century. Various techniques and the roles they have played in the development of the modern massage therapy practice are detailed. Progression to the current practice of therapeutic touch benefiting soft tissue health, movement, posture and neurological patterns is outlined.
Requirements for the Practice of Therapeutic Massage – 2 hours
To be a knowledgeable and professional massage practitioner requires understanding and practicing within their scope of practice. Requirements for obtaining a license to practice massage therapy and the various local and state laws are discussed. Continuing education requirements for renewing licensure and reasons for revocation or suspension are covered. Additionally, Research literacy standards are taught to enhance the therapist’s ability to look up and evaluate the validity of research quality.
Professional Ethics for Massage Practitioners – 10 hours
Practicing professional ethics protects the client, the profession and the therapist. This class teaches ways to create a safe environment for everyone involved. Good ethics helps to gain the respect of the medical community and the general population. Techniques to establish personal and professional boundaries in a therapeutic relationship and a client-centered relationship adherence to ethical standards of practice and conflict resolution techniques are discussed. Ethics are the basis for standards of acceptable and professional behavior by which a person or business conducts business. This course defines the meaning of professional ethics and explains how the practice of good ethics helps build a successful massage practice. Professional boundaries are the foundation of an ethical practice. Instructors will provide a copy of the official AMTA code of Ethics for review. Instructors will go into detail about the boundaries that need to be established between clients and therapists including physical, emotional, intellectual and sexual boundaries. The eight major areas to consider when establishing professional boundaries are also discussed. The eight major areas are appearance, self-disclosure, language, touch, time, money, location of service and interpersonal space. Instructors will discuss terms used to describe a therapeutic relationship such as power differential, transference and countertransference. Students learn how to keep communication with their client clear by stating how, where and what forms of touch will be used in the massage session.
Overview of Human Anatomy and Physiology and Medical Terminology – 3 hours
This class is designed to give the therapist an explanation of why it is vital that they have a thorough knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology. The physiological and psychological effects of stress, disease and pain are discussed. Instructors will discuss the healing functions of the body in terms of inflammation and tissue repair and detail how massage can help stop the pain-spasm-pain cycle. The basics of medical and anatomic terminology are discussed.
Anatomy and Physiology: Structure and Function – 3 hours
Anatomical structures, regions, cavities and parts of the body are discussed in this class. Knowledge of the regions of the body is important to a massage therapist because it helps to pinpoint a particular area for specialized work. The levels of complexity of living matter are covered from atoms to organisms. The structure and function of cellular organelles and the five states of mitosis are covered in this class. Additionally, the four main categories of tissue (epithelial, connective, muscular, nervous), anatomical planes of the body and body cavities/organs are discussed in detail.
Integumentary System – 3 hours
The skin is the largest organ of the body and serves as an interface with the environment and provides protection for the body. This class details the principal functions of the skin, the structure and nutritional needs of the skin, and the benefits of massage for the skin. Structural changes of the skin are discussed, as well as the appendages associated with the skin, including hair, nails and glands.
Skeletal System – 10 hours
This class details the body framework of the human body, including the bones, cartilage and ligaments. the five main functions of the skeletal system are covered in detail. The bones of the axial and appendicular system are discussed in detail with particular attention paid to the bony landmarks that serve as origin or attachment sites for muscles/ligaments/tendons. Bone classifications, bone tissue, histology and formation of bone, and joint articulations are also covered in this class.
The Muscular System: Overview – 4 hours
The muscular system’s main organ is muscle! Muscles comprise approximately 40 to 60 percent of a person’s total body weight. The skeletal muscular system has over 600 muscles in it. This course describes the three types of muscular tissue, the characteristics of muscular tissue and the components of muscle fibers. The ability of a muscle to change chemical energy into mechanical energy is discussed in detail. Common dysfunctions and diseases of the muscular system are detailed. The different types of muscular interactions are divided up into several categories, which include prime mover, antagonist, synergist and fixator, are discussed.
The Muscular System: Muscles of the Upper Body – 40 hours
An in-depth look is made at all of the muscles in the upper body. Muscles that are included are found in the head, face, neck, shoulder, chest, upper back, arm, hand, and vertebral column. An overview of the muscles in each region is discussed. Individually, each muscle is examined closely to discover its origin, insertion and action. Pain referral areas and other associated areas that need to be examined are discussed. Manual therapy techniques for each muscle are demonstrated by instructors and practiced by students.
The Muscular System: Muscles of the Lower Body – 40 hours
A continuation of the first class, this course is an in-depth look at all of the muscles of the lower body. Muscles that are included are found in the low back, abdomen, pelvis, thigh, leg, ankle and foot. An overview of the muscles in each region is discussed. Individually, each muscle is examined closely to discover its origin, insertion and action. Pain referral areas and other associated areas that need to be examined are discussed. Manual therapy techniques for each muscle are demonstrated by instructors and practiced by students.
Circulatory System (Cardiovascular and Lymphatic Systems) – 8 hours
The circulatory system controls the circulation of the blood and lymph throughout the body. There are two divisions to the vascular system: The blood vascular system (cardiovascular system) and the lymph vascular system (lymphatic system). Both systems are intimately linked to each other and are discussed in detail during this course. The two systems involved in circulation, pulmonary and systemic, are focused upon.
The Immune System – 4 hours
The main focus of the immune system is to keep people safe from a variety of “foreign” invaders and diseases. Lymphocytes play a major role in the immune response. Two types of lymphocytes, B-cells and T-cells, are discussed in detail. Phagocytosis, natural immunity and acquired immunity are also covered during this course. Protective functions of the immune system, such as fever and inflammation, are introduced to the student. HIV/AIDS and Covid-19 are discussed and the most current research is reviewed.
The Nervous System – 4 hours
The nervous system controls and coordinates the functions of all the other systems of the body enabling them to work harmoniously and efficiently. This course details the functions of the nervous system and how massage can affect its functioning. The Central Nervous System (the brain and spinal cord) and the Peripheral Nervous System (autonomic nervous system and somatic nervous system) are discussed in detail.
The Respiratory System – 3 hours
The cells of the body require a continual supply of oxygen and the removal of carbon dioxide. This exchange is accomplished by the respiratory system and the mechanics of which are discussed in this course. Students will learn the differences between external, internal and cellular respiration.
The Digestive System – 3 hours
The main functions of the digestive system are converting food into substances that can be used by the cells for nourishment and the process of transferring the nutrients from the intestines to the blood or lymph vessels so that they can be transported to the cells. The alimentary canal and accessory digestive organs are discussed in detail during this course. Students will become familiar with the path of digestion the effects of massage on the digestive system.
The Urinary System– 2 hours
The organs of the excretory system are the kidneys, liver, skin, large intestine and lungs. Their role in eliminating and excreting metabolic waste, as well as, undigested food from the body is discussed in detail during this course. Students will learn the vital importance of ridding the body of metabolic waste that has the potential to poison the body.
Endocrine System – 4 hours
The endocrine system is made up of a group of specialized glands that affect the growth, development, sexual activity and health of the entire body, depending on the quality and quantity of their secretions. This course describes the major functions of the endocrine system and how it assists the nervous system in the regulation of body processes. Endocrine and Exocrine glands are described in detail.
The Reproductive System – 3 hours
This class details the functional components of the male and female reproductive systems, including accessory glands and organs. The different physiological stages of pregnancy are reviewed and set the basis for continuing education in Pre-natal Massage work.
Preparations for the Practitioner: Self-care part 1 – 5 hours
This class focuses on the development of good self-care practices that enhance the therapist’s ability to perform multiple massages, while reducing the chance of injury to themselves. Proper stances and body mechanics are taught to guard against burnout and repetitive strain injuries. Exercises are taught to increase strength and flexibility while maintaining stamina and energy.
Effects, Benefits, Indications and Contraindications of Massage – 2 hours
An understanding of the effects, benefits and indications of massage will help the therapist promote the massage therapy field to the public and healthcare industry. The understanding of when a massage is indicated or contraindicated is the basis for designing a safe protocol that is unique to each client and each therapy session. This class breaks down the effects and benefits of massage on the muscular, nervous and circulatory systems. Additionally, the psychological effects of massage are detailed. The six most common massage contraindications are discussed in detail.
Classifications of Massage Movements – 2 hours
This class details the four forces that deform tissue for therapeutic gain and the seven major categories of massage methods. Students gain practical hands-on application of the fundamental movements for the seven major categories of massage methods 9intention, direction, speed, length, duration, rhythm and pressure).
Procedure for Complete Swedish Body Massage – 45 hours
All hands-on therapies use physical contact as the primary modality. Swedish massage is generally regarded as the most common form of massage. It combines a combination of five basic strokes and concentrates on the muscles and connective tissues of the body. The continuous interaction of the client and therapist, the purpose of the session and the intent with which each manipulation is delivered affect the outcome of the massage. Swedish massage improves circulation, promotes relaxation, gives pain relief and in important in the overall health maintenance and well-being of the client. This course introduces the major categories of massage movements and explains Swedish massage techniques. Instructors explain and demonstrate rhythm and pressure, as applied to therapeutic body massage. Instructors will also demonstrate a Swedish routine of massage, various draping techniques and personal body mechanics that will become the basis of all other massage modalities taught at this school. Students will perform and perfect the basic Swedish routine in a supervised classroom environment.